future1_thumb[1] Alan D. Mutter has another interesting post on his “Reflections of a Newsosaur” blog. He talks about a French study that highlights the differences in worldview between older and younger generations.

Whether accidentally or intentionally, the study uses the same term for the younger generation that Nick Bilton does in his book I Live in the Future and Here’s How It Works, calling them “digital natives”. And these digital natives tend to be more untrustworthy of authority, addicted to reading off of screens whereby they can absorb as much data as fast as they can, and intrigued by the challenge of finding information and outsmarting the establishments older generations take for granted.

Newspapers, Mutter writes, are faced with the problem of figuring out how to reach out to this younger generation while not compromising the values that make them important to older generations. It doesn’t look like an easy task.

Meanwhile, Wired has interviewed Bilton about I Live in the Future. During the interview, Bilton points out another interesting generational difference.

When Facebook debuted to the public in 2006, youth flocked to it to create an online persona and keep track of their friends, while many adults thought the social networking site was just another fad and that sharing their lives online was weird, perhaps even dangerous.

That divide has closed quite a bit in four years, but now that Aaron Sorkin has turned Facebook’s seedy origins into the box-office smash The Social Network, there’s a similar divide in the reaction to the movie: 18- to 34-year-olds like Facebook even more, while the site’s reputation fell among adults over 50.

Of course, younger generations having different values from their parents is not exactly new. But it’s interesting to see the digital direction this latest generation gap is taking, and to consider the effect it will have on e-reading in years to come.


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